Thomas More College (Kentucky)

Thomas More College
Motto Together In Pursuit of Truth
Type Private, four-year, liberal arts
Established 1921
Affiliation Catholic Church (Benedictine Sisters)
Endowment $15 million[1]
President David A. Armstrong
Students 1,963[2]
Undergraduates 1,825[2]
Postgraduates 138[2]
Location Crestview Hills, Kentucky, United States
39°01′18″N 84°34′05″W / 39.0217°N 84.5681°W / 39.0217; -84.5681Coordinates: 39°01′18″N 84°34′05″W / 39.0217°N 84.5681°W / 39.0217; -84.5681
Colors Blue and white
Nickname Saints
Affiliations Roman Catholic Church, Presidents' Athletic Conference
Mascot Tommy Mo

Thomas More College is a liberal arts college located in Crestview Hills, Kentucky, a suburb near Cincinnati, Ohio, in the United States. The Roman Catholic school serves about 2,200 full and part-time students. The college was founded in 1921 by the local Benedictine Sisters as Villa Madonna College.


The Benedictine Sisters of Covington, Kentucky, founded Villa Madonna College in 1921 to train Catholic school teachers and to provide college education for young women. The college was chartered by the Commonwealth of Kentucky in 1923. Villa Madonna graduated its first students in 1929 and became the official college of the Diocese of Covington that same year. Three religious orders operated Villa Madonna in its early years: the Sisters of Notre Dame, the Congregation of Divine Providence, and the local Benedictine Sisters. Through the 1930s and early 1940s, the college grew slowly. The school year 1942–1943 closed with commencement exercises on June 4 with ten graduates. The number of graduates of the college including the 1943 class was 152.

Although Villa Madonna was founded as an institution for women, men attended many of the same classes through the affiliated St. Thomas More College, a college-level program of Covington Latin School. In 1945, Villa Madonna was designated a co-educational college, and St. Thomas More College was abolished.[3] In that year the Diocese of Covington purchased the college. At the opening of classes in September 1945, Villa Madonna College enrolled 28 Sisters, 56 laywomen, and 28 men for a total of 112 students. As the college began to grow, facilities and classrooms were stretched to their limits. Several buildings owned by the Diocese of Covington were quickly secured for additional classrooms and offices. Over the next two decades, as enrollment and curriculum steadily grew, any available space was acquired and adapted for the college's use. Eventually, all available space was exhausted, and it was clear that a more spacious campus was needed.

Campus buildings of Villa Madonna College include St. Joseph's Hall, St. Thomas More Hall,[1] Cabrini Hall,[1] St. Pius Hall, Talbott Hall, Cafeteria Annex, Columbus Hall (library), St. Jude Hall, Aquinas Hall,[1] Bernard Hall,[1] and St. Luke Hall (art department).[4]

In 1964, the school's chancellor, Bishop Ackerman, announced a building program. A growing co-educational institution, an expanding campus and the opportunity to serve a wider area made the move the natural choice. In 1968, the college was moved from downtown Covington to what is now Crestview Hills. In this same year, Bishop Ackerman announced that Villa Madonna College would be renamed "Thomas More College". The same year another Thomas More College opened - a woman's college of Jesuit Fordham University in New York which later merged with Fordham College as a co-educational college and dropped the Thomas More name.[5] Although the college was opened in January 1968, dedication ceremonies were held on September 28 with President Lyndon B. Johnson in attendance. The college serves 1,900 full- and part-time students. Although primarily from Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, students from roughly 20 states and several countries attend Thomas More College.[6]


  1. Sister Mary Domitilla Thuener, O.S.B (1921–1928)[7][8]
  2. Monsignor Michael Leick (1928–1943)[7]
  3. Reverend Edmund Corby (1943–1944)[7]
  4. Reverend Thomas A. McCarty (1945–1949)[7]
  5. Reverend Joseph Z. Aud (1949–1951)[7]
  6. Monsignor John F. Murphy (1951–1971)[7]
  7. Dr. Richard A. DeGraff (1971–1978)[7]
  8. Dr. Robert J. Giroux (1978–1982)[7]
  9. Dr. Thomas A. Coffey (1982–1985)[7]
  10. Dr. Charles J. Bensman (1986–1992)[7]
  11. Reverend William F. Cleves (1992–2001)[7]
  12. Dr. E. Joseph Lee II (2001–2004)[7]
  13. Sister Margaret Stallmeyer, C.D.P. (2005–2013)[7]
  14. David A. Armstrong (2013–2018)[9]
  15. Kathleen S. Jagger, PhD MPH (2018–present) [10]


The college is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).[11]

The college is a member of Greater Cincinnati Consortium of Colleges and Universities, an organization including all of the accredited colleges and universities in the area. This consortium relationship gives students access to course offerings of the other institutions through a cross-registration arrangement as well as access to library resources of the other schools in the consortium.

Programs of study

Greek life

  • Alpha Delta Gamma, Rho chapter (est. 1965)[12]
  • Theta Phi Alpha, Alpha Eta chapter (est. 1968)[12] - recruits in both the fall and spring semesters. The sisterhood has an intense focus on philanthropy and community service.


Administrative Building
Houses the majority of administrative offices (except for athletics, campus ministry, and institutional advancement), faculty offices, some classrooms, the cafeteria, and the computer center.
Science Building
Four-story building that holds offices and classrooms for the Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Mathematics, Psychology, and Education departments.
Connor Convocation Center[13]
The gym, training rooms, and athletics offices are housed in the Connor Convocation Center.
Saints Center
Formerly the Holbrook Student Center (then Student Center – due to the death of the benefactor and inability of the family to cover the expense of naming rights) contains the Interlude Cafe, Steigerwald Hall, campus bookstore, the Office of the President, and Institutional Advancement offices.
Bank of Kentucky Field[14]
Marian Hall / Howard Hall[15]
Two connected residence halls that are co-ed.
Ackerman Hall[15]
Male-only residence hall
Murphy Hall[15]
Co-ed suite-style residence hall
Bank of Kentucky Observatory[16]
Mary, Seat of Wisdom Chapel[17]
Biology Field Station[18]

Thomas More College Success Center

  • Institute for Academic Support
  • Institute for Learning Differences
  • Institute for Career Development and Graduate School Planning[19]


SGA sanctioned clubs

Accounting Society
Any student taking an accounting course may join the Accounting Society. The purpose of the club is to broaden and deepen the student's understanding of the accounting profession through technical sessions and social affairs.
African-American Student Association
This organization was formed to provide a "common voice" for African-American students and to foster an atmosphere of mutual understanding and friendship in our community. Membership is open to all students at Thomas More College and all are encouraged to join. Weekly meetings will be announced.
Biology Club
The Biology Club's purpose is to initiate interest and to further student participation in the biological sciences. Membership is open to all students. Beta Beta Beta is the Biology Honor Society. Membership is open to qualified students.
Business Society
This student group acquaints business students with the actual business world, involving themselves in such activities as Junior Achievement.
More Ministry
The purpose of this club is to further interest in Christian fellowship, promote service projects, peer leadership, and foster spiritual development among students at Thomas More College. The club's goal is to build community and to be inclusive by having representation from various student groups.
Chemistry Club
The purpose of the Chemistry Club is to promote interest and participation in chemistry on the professional level.
College Democrats
The mission of the College Democrats is to advocate the philosophies of the Democratic Party while increasing awareness on a local and statewide level. Furthermore, we declare the intention to support and encourage the participation of college students in democratic activism and facilitate participation in the political process.
College Libertarians
The purpose of the College Libertarians is to educate students about the Libertarian Party and while increasing awareness on a local and statewide level.
College Republicans
The purpose of this club is to promote the Republican Party's message, cultivate Republican ideas on campus, and provide opportunities for members to get involved in politics.
Education Club
A club for education majors that works with Kappa Delta Pi, the international honor society in education.
French Club
The French club celebrates the French language, culture and history.
International Student Society
The International Student Group helps to foster camaraderie among students of various national origins. Special programs are organized by students to encourage understanding and enhance educational opportunities.
History Club
This organization, open to all interested students, works with Phi Alpha Theta (History Honorary) to sponsor programs related to history. Phi Alpha Theta is the international honor society in History. Membership in Thomas More's Lambda Sigma Chapter is open to academically qualified students.
Math/Physics Club
The objective of the Math Club is to further stimulate interest in mathematics by acquainting its members with advantages of mathematical knowledge. The purpose of the club is to inform interested students of the advances in the science of physics, its role in today's world and to promote an awareness of professional opportunities in physics.
Outdoor Adventure Club
Outdoor Adventure Club is an organization devoted to having fun and exciting programs, outings and social events that highlight nature and recreational activities.
Phi Alpha Delta/Pre-Law
This Pre-Law fraternity is the Thomas More College chapter of a national organization sponsoring programs related to legal careers. This campus group works with Phi Alpha Delta to sponsor activities, such as a mock trial team, for pre-law students.
Philosophy Club
The goal of the Philosophy Club is to promote interest in the area of philosophy among students. The club offers programs to help gain interest in the area and exchange ideas.
Political Sciences Club
The Political Science Club is an organization that provides opportunities for students to explore the political world. The PoliSci club also provides an excellent arena for free political discussion and thought.
Psychology Club
The goal of the Psychology Club is to promote interest in the field of psychology among students concentrating in this area. The honor society Psi Chi Honorary's purpose is to encourage, stimulate and maintain excellence in scholarship of the individuals involved in the advancement of the science of psychology.
Saints Club
Organize events and rallies to support Saints athletics and raise school spirit.
Sigma Tau Delta/English
This honor society is an organization of academically qualified English students.
Social Issues Commune/JAG
Works to expose and address issues affecting social conditions.
Spanish Club
The purpose of this club is to provide an entertaining and educational opportunity for all to enjoy practicing speaking the Spanish language. It also provides an opportunity where all can celebrate the Spanish language and the Spanish and Hispanic cultures.
Student Nurses Association
Open to all students at Thomas More College, this group encourages student involvement on campus and in various nursing-related events and lectures.

Student organizations

Active Minds
To increase students' awareness of mental health issues, provide information and resources regarding mental health and mental illness, and encourage students to seek help by serving as a liaison between students and the mental health community.
Alpha Delta Gamma (ΑΔΓ)
Thomas More College's only fraternity on campus. Alpha Delta Gamma is a Catholic fraternity based on five principal values: Spiritual, Scholastic, Service, School Spirit, and Social.
Campus publications
WORDS is the literary arts magazine of Thomas More College. It features original drawings, photographs, poetry and prose submitted by students. Students may also serve on its staff. The TRISKELE is the college's yearbook. Published annually, it illustrates the many activities, events and organizations of the college.
Delta Epsilon Sigma
An academic honor society open to students from any major with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5.
National Residence Hall Honorary
This is an honorary group which inducts residents every year to vote on "Of The Month" awards for the Residence Life System.
Resident Student Association
Resident Student Association and the Director of Residence Life share the responsibility of promoting the development and general welfare of the resident students. These are elected position and represent the interests of the resident student.
Servicemen To Saints
For veterans who are continuing their education at Thomas More College to come together for the betterment of the community and themselves.
Student-Athlete Advisory Committee
This group serves as the voice for the student-athlete when it comes to NCAA proposals and legislation. They also are a liaison between the student-athlete and faculty on campus.
Theta Phi Alpha (ΘΦΑ)
Theta Phi Alpha is a national sorority on Thomas More College's Campus. The goal is to create bonds of friendship and loyalty within the group and the community through philanthropy, scholarship, and social activities.
Thomas More Cheerleaders
The Purpose for the Thomas More Thomas More Cheerleaders shall be to support the athletic teams, student activities and events of the college and to promote excitement and support of Thomas More College.
Villa Players
The Villa Players take primary responsibility for the dramatic productions of the college. Their goal is to stimulate interest in the Fine Arts among the student body and the community.


The Thomas More College Accelerated Program (TAP)[20] is specifically designed for working adults. It offers an associate, bachelor's, or master's degree in Business Administration. Classes meet only once a week and utilize group-study project teams, which emphasize interaction and participation. TAP classes are held at two locations: the campus in Crestview Hills, Kentucky, and in the northern Cincinnati suburb of Blue Ash, Ohio.


The Master of Arts in Teaching Program (MAT)[21] is run by the Education Department of Thomas More College. It is targeted for those who hold a baccalaureate degree and meet the requirements of the Kentucky Educational Professional Standards Board (EPSB). The program has two tracks: one for those holding a Temporary Provisional Certificate and the other for those wanting to acquire their teacher certification.


Thomas More has been listed in the U.S. News and World Report's "America's Best Colleges" edition[22] and Money magazine's "Best College Buys" issue. It has also been recognized by The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as a "selective liberal arts college." The college is also a member of the Association of Independent Kentucky Colleges and Universities.

Student government

The student government of Thomas More College serves as the official representative of the student body. It is governed by its constitution and consists of an executive board, delegates at-large, and associates. The president of the Student Government Association receives a full-voting membership on the Thomas More College Board of Trustees.


The Thomas More College sports teams are called the Saints. They compete in the NCAA's Division III in the Presidents' Athletic Conference.

The following sports are offered:

Men's sports

  • Baseball
    • Presidents' Athletic Conference regular season champs: 2008, 2011,2016
    • NCAA Division III Tournament appearances: 2000, 2003, 2010, 2011,2016
  • Basketball
    • NAIA Men's Division I Tournament: 1957 (as Villa Madonna)
      • First official upset in NAIA Tournament history, because it was the first year seeding was added to the tournament. Villa Madonna upset West Virginia Tech 93 to 91.
    • Presidents' Athletic Conference regular season champs: 2009, 2010
    • NCAA Division III Tournament appearances: 2009
  • Cross country
  • Football
    • Second fastest Division III school to 100 wins
    • Best all-time win percentage in NCAA Division III
    • Undefeated regular season - 1991, 1995, 2001, 2009, 2010, 2015
    • NCAA Division III Football Championships (playoffs) - 1992, 2001, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2015, 2016
    • Association of Mideast Colleges Conference champions - 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995
    • Presidents' Athletic Conference champions - 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013 (co-champions), 2014 (co-champions), 2015, 2016
  • Golf
    • Presidents' Athletic Conference champs: 2010
    • NCAA Division III Championship appearances: 2010
  • Soccer
    • Presidents' Athletic Conference regular season champs: 2009, 2011
    • NCAA Division III Tournament appearances: 2009, 2010, 2011
  • Tennis
  • Track and field
  • Wrestling
    • PAC regular season champs: 2017
      • Brand new program to the school

Women's sports

  • Basketball
    • Presidents' Athletic Conference regular season champs: 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
    • NCAA Division III Tournament appearances: 1997, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
    • NCAA Division III Final Four appearances: 2015, 2016
    • NCAA Division III Championships: 2015 (vacated),[23] 2016
  • Cross country
  • Golf
  • Lacrosse
  • Soccer
    • Presidents' Athletic Conference regular season champs: 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010
    • NCAA Division III Tournament appearances: 2003, 2011
  • Softball
    • Presidents' Athletic Conference regular season champs: 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010
    • NCAA Division III Tournament appearances: 2005, 2006, 2009, 2010
  • Tennis
  • Track and field
  • Volleyball
    • Presidents' Athletic Conference regular season champs: 2007, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
    • NCAA Division III Tournament appearances: 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2003, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015

Notable people


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 MoreOver Fall 2014; accessed December 28, 2014.
  2. 1 2 3 As of fall 2016. "Student headcount by level: All independent institutions (2006-16)" (PDF). Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education. Commonwealth of Kentucky. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  3. Covington Latin School, Kenton County Public Library, retrieved February 29, 2015.
  4. Northern Kentucky Views, Villa Madonna College,; accessed September 15, 2014.
  5. Fordham University
  6. History of Thomas More College & Villa Madonna College,; accessed September 15, 2014.
  7. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Program for Thomas More College Presidential Inauguration, April Twenty-Ninth, Two Thousand and Five
  8. Green, Judy; LaDuke, Jeanne (2008). Pioneering Women in American Mathematics The Pre-1940 PhD's. History of Mathematics. 34 (1st ed.). American Mathematical Society, The London Mathematical Society. ISBN 978-0-8218-4376-5. Biography on p.599-600 of the Supplementary Material at AMS
  9. Thomas More College Announces New President
  11. Accreditation
  12. 1 2 Clubs & Organizations
  13. Connor Convocation Center Center
  14. The Bank of Kentucky Field
  15. 1 2 3 Residence Halls
  16. The Bank of Kentucky Observatory
  17. Mary, Seat of Wisdom Chapel
  18. Biology Field Station
  20. "Thomas More | The Accelerated Program (TAP)". Retrieved 2013-08-24.
  21. Master of Arts in Teaching Program
  22. Thomas More College
  23. "D3 team has to vacate a title because Randy Moss' daughter stayed with a coach while recovering from injury". SBNation. Vox Media. Retrieved 17 November 2016.
  24. Rick Hughes Archived 2007-01-22 at the Wayback Machine.
  25. Larry Staverman
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